Edward William Phifer III was born May 6, 1941 in Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. His Father had graduated from Harvard Medical School and was in the intern training program there. Edward was educated in the Morganton Public Schools, graduated from Darlington School, attended UNC at Chapel Hill, graduated from Appalachian State University and attended Wake Forest Business School.
He was honorably discharged after having served two years of active duty in the US Navy from 1962 to 1964. Edward joined Hardwoods of Morganton as a VP in 1966 and accepted a position in marketing at Henredon Furniture in 1980. In 1990 he co-founded E.J. Victor Furniture Company along with John Victor Jokinen, and Joseph B. Manderson. He retired in 2015 and serves on the board of directors. After retirement from E. J. Victor he formed Phifer Lumber Company and currently serves as President.
His Father was commissioned as a US Army Medical Officer and attained the rank of Major. Having served in Italy and North Africa in WWII, he returned to Morganton to follow in his Father’s footsteps where he opened his general surgical practice. His Father, E.W. Phifer, Sr. had helped co-found Grace Hospital, now Carolinas Health Care System Blue Ridge. Dr. Phifer, Jr. (Ned) took an active roll in hospital business along with his dedicated surgical practice. He also continued the family tradition of public service, serving on both public and private boards and commissions.
Phifer Wellness Center was founded in 1996 and named for members of his family: Dr. Edward W. Phifer, Jr., Robert P. Phifer, and Mary Adair Phifer.
Phifer Learning Resource Center at WPCC is named for Dr. Edward W. Phifer, Jr., and Mary Adair Phifer. Dr. Edward W. Phifer, Jr helped found WPCC and served as first Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Mary Adair Phifer also served as chairman for several terms.
Edward himself has served in numerous capacities including: Bank of America on the local board of directors, Grace Hospital Foundation, City of Morganton Zoning Board of Adjustments, Morganton-Burke Library Board, Burke County Board of Commissioners, First Presbyterian Church Board of Deacons, a long time choir member, Foothills area and local Mental Health Boards, charter member of Burke County Council on the Status of Women, Southeastern Savings and Loan Board, Hardwoods of Morganton, E.J. Victor board, on Mimosa Hills Country Club board of Governors, Dacotah Cotton Mills Board, and NYSE traded Home Choice Board of Directors.
Edward followed the example set by his Father, Mother, Grandfather and many other relatives and ancestors. His Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather Waightstill Avery, was a colonel in the American Revolutionary War and the first Attorney General of NC. Avery County was the newest formed county in NC, established in 1911 and named for Waightstill Avery.
Edward married Rebecca McLear in 1980. She is a UNC Chapel Hill School of Law graduate. Rebecca practiced with Patton, Starnes, and Thompson, also with the State of NC and retired from the Burke County Magistrate's office after 6 years. They have one son, Justin M. McLear of Morganton